SBD/Issue 5/Sports Media

WNBA Sees 8.9% Viewer Jump For ESPN2 Regular Season Telecasts

By Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor

ESPN2 averaged 269,000 viewers for its 12 regular-season WNBA telecasts this season, up 8.9% from 247,000 viewers for 13 telecasts in '08. This season, the league had only the season opener on ABC, compared to eight telecasts on the net last year. Sparks F Candace Parker, the league's reigning WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year, had her team featured four times on ESPN2 this season, averaging 311,000 viewers, up from 292,000 viewers for three Sparks telecasts on the net last year. Last Sunday also saw the league close the regular season on a high note up against the NFL, as Sparks-Mercury was up 90.7% from last year's final Storm-Sparks game. This year's most-viewed game on ESPN2 was Sky-Sparks on August 25 from 10:14pm-12:01am ET, which earned 449,000 viewers on the heels of a good lead-in audience from a Little League World Series game. Last year's most-viewed game on the net (Sparks-Monarchs) only netted 368,000 viewers. ESPN2 also saw increases in men 18-34 (+9%), 18-49 (+14%) and 25-54 (+23%). In addition, viewing of live games on's new Live Access feature more than tripled this season (THE DAILY).

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